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Karns City senior wants to lead team back to title game

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007

Karns City senior Cameron Turner had two goals heading into the 2006 football season: help the Gremlins win the District 9 championship and get noticed by college scouts.

Turner accomplished the latter and is getting recruited by a handful of Division I programs. But, Karns City came up short in the District 9 title game, losing to Brookville, 21-3.

Turner's goals for his senior season are to help get the Gremlins back to the district championship and continue being a dependable leader for his teammates.

Being a leader is nothing knew for Turner, who broke into Karns City's starting lineup at the end of his freshman season. But, he said, being a senior leader is a lot easier than being one as an underclassman.

"It was harder as a sophomore," Turner said. "I didn't want to speak up and tell people what to do. I don't tell people what to do now, but I can explain stuff better because I understand the defense better."

Turner (6-foot-2, 232 pounds) has been calling the defense's plays for the past two seasons. Karns City coach Ed Conto likes that Turner explains schemes and plays to teammates.

"That's what you want from leaders," Conto said. "Once the regular season begins, (the coaches) do prepping during the week. (The players) got to be able to adjust on the field.

"You need to have someone out there who can see what's going on and relay the message to players."

Colleges recruiting Turner include Miami (Ohio), Marshall, Kent State, Ohio and James Madison.

When Turner joined the Gremlins as a freshman, Conto thought it was possible he could turn into a Division I recruit.

"Anyone who starts as a sophomore goes to at least a Division II program," Conto said.

During the offseason, Turner attended senior day camps at all of the aforementioned universities. As a tight end and a defensive end, he is getting looked at for offense and defense.

College coaches have been asking Conto where he thinks Turner will be most successful.

"It's a tough question," Conto said. "He's got great hands, but most college tight ends are 6-4 or 6-5. He has good quickness. He hasn't played fullback, but he could. Though, it has sort of been phased out in college.

"He probably would make a good outside linebacker."

Turner began his varsity career as a linebacker, but Conto moved him to defensive end due to a lack of size on the Gremlins' line.

"He shuts down the whole side of a line," Conto said.

The biggest motivational force behind Turner's offseason workouts has not been getting a college scholarship, though. It has been Karns City's loss in the 2006 District 9 championship.

"The feeling of losing that game wasn't good," Turner said. "It gave us all a drive in the weight room and to learn our plays. We don't want to make the same mistakes again this year."

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